47 vets recognized at peace medal ceremony



U.S. flags outside the Webster Area High School entrance April 6 were placed by Patriot Guard Riders while volunteers of that organization opened doors for those entering. More people holding flags lined the hallway leading to the high school gym where a ceremony was held to recognize Day County veterans of what’s been called the “Forgotten War.”

“You being here means you have not forgotten. You did not forget these men and what they did,” said Day County Veterans Service Officer Kevin Bohn to the more than 300 people in attendance. Some came from as far away as Spokane, WA to watch as 47 veterans received the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal.

Bohn and his assistant Marcia Solberg put months worth of planning into the ceremony. They enlisted the help of the Webster Area High School government class who escorted guests to their seats, read the names of the veterans and handed the medals to those who were receiving the medal on their behalf.

The ceremony was attended by South Dakota Secretary of Veteran Affairs Larry Zimmerman, Veteran Service Northeast State Field Officer Kevin Bowen ... and several veterans who had previously received the medal.

Read were letters from Senators Mike Rounds and John Thune as was the Ambassador for Peace official proclamation from the Republic of Korea.

Just days after the ceremony, an official letter was received from the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Chicago, Jong-kook Lee. In the later, he thanked Bohn for the invitation to the event and expressed gratitude to the veterans who received the medal that day.

“Nearly 1.8 million U.S. brave men and women joined the Korean War to defend freedom and democracy on the Korean peninsula. Over 54,000 lost their valuable lives and many were injured,” Lee wrote. “Their countless sacrifice and dedication have been the bedrock of the Korea-U.S. alliance for more than six decades. Without their devotion and courage, there would be no such prosperous and democratic Korea as we have today.”

The only living veterans in attendance of the event were Orvis A. Jorgenson and Lyle Berg who accepted their own medals.

The following six veterans did not have representatives in attendance and the medals were sent by mail to family: Dalfinn A. Didrickson, Virgil E. Dornbusch; Donald C. Duerre, William L. Lemmon, Richard A. Olson and Edwin L. Wirkus.

The following veterans’ medals were accepted by a representative: Orlin M. Aadland by Jay Aadland, George E. Bartell by Alice Bartell, Harvey W. Bartelt by Alyce Bartelt, Stanley V. Boik by Sandra Simon, Alvin B. Breske by Delores Breske, Virgil E. Cleveland by Grover Cleveland, Robert J. Dale by Jenny Foster, David R. Erdahl by Alice Stevens, Franklin B. Fiksdal by Pete Gusenius, Arvid H. Flagtwet by Greg Flagtwet, Raymond G. Foster by Margaret Foster, Donald F. Gaikowski by Randy Gaikowski, Henry J. Gaikowski by Bernie Gaikowski, Arthur J. Grajczyk by Ron Grajczyk, Wilferd J. Greening by Nancy Peters, Richard H. Grode by Betty Gollnick, James E. Gusenius by Mary Ann Gusenius, Harvey H. Hannon by Kelli Schultz, Norman A. Hanson by Janet Hanson, Orville L. Helmer by Ilene Helmer, Morris L. Jones by Don Jones, Leslie D. Knott by Jon Knott, Tommy Knutson by Erma Knutson, Clayton L. Litch by Kari Lee & Karla Juran, Kenneth S. Mathiason by Daniel Mathiason, Oris J. Olson by Barbara Plaiser, Patrick J. O’Shea, Jr. by Richard Nelson, John W. Owen by Bev Owen, William P. Pesall by Roger Pesall, Maurice W. Richardt by Norma Richardt, Royal W. Schmidt by Tubby Schmidt, Donald L. Schmit by Renee Anderson and Robin Eddy, Irven J. Schmit by Leo Schmit, Peter N. Schmit by Peter Schmit, David L. Seaboy by David L. Seaboy, Orylin V. Sippel by Greg Flagtwet, Maynard C. Solsaa by Violet Solsaa and Donald E. Whitlock by Delores Whitlock.

Special recognition was given Bruce A. Hook who died while a prisoner of war in Korea. His medal was accepted by Mickie Haaseth.

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